Raiders offseason tracker 2020: Key dates, free agent scorecard, NFL draft rumors, latest updates and more


Just like that, the Las Vegas Raiders (that sounds weird, doesn’t it?) are already onto Year 3 of the second Jon Gruden era. When the Raiders, then of Oakland, handed Gruden a 10-year, $100 million deal to become their new head coach (again), they did so knowing that Gruden wouldn’t be able to guide them out of the black hole of misery overnight. It was always going to be a process. The good news for the Raiders is that the process might be ahead of schedule and could reach the next phase if the next two months go as planned. 

Despite trading away their two best players in Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper before and during the 2018 season, the Raiders managed to win seven games in 2019 after Gruden’s first season back in charge resulted in a 4-12 record. That’s progress. But the Raiders have to be vigilant. Their negative-106 point differential indicates that they were lucky to emerge with a 7-9 record. Based on their point differential alone, their expected win-loss record? 5.3-10.7. 

That doesn’t mean the Raiders are destined to regress in 2020. It just means they need to continue upgrading their roster in free agency and the draft so that they can avoid regression. 

The good news: The Raiders have money to spend. With more than $50 million available in cap space, the salary cap shouldn’t prohibit them from adding the free agents they desire. Plus, the Raiders are still loaded with draft capital in the aftermath of the Mack trade. While they’re lacking a second-round pick, the Raiders are armed with two first-round picks (one of which belonged to the Bears) and two third-rounders (one of which belonged to the Texans). So, the Raiders will have the ability to make upgrades at key positions in both free agency and the draft.

The most important question, of course, pertains to the quarterback position. While Derek Carr is under contract through the 2022 season, the Raiders can bail on the contract and save nearly $14 million in the process. They could also try to trade him to another quarterback-needy team that is more equipped to win with a quarterback of Carr’s caliber (mediocre). Regardless of the exact method, the Raiders should seriously consider moving on from Carr this offseason with so many options available in free agency and the trade market. Quarterbacks from Tom Brady to Teddy Bridgewater to Jameis Winston are likely to be available. The best way to offset regression? Improving at the most important position in the sport.

But the Raiders also need to find ways to improve a defense that was among the league’s worst in 2019. Despite making progress last season, this is still a team that urgently needs reinforcements on both sides of the ball if they’re going to make the leap from competitive to playoff-worthy.

With all that in mind, we decided to create a one-stop destination for all the information you need about the Raiders’ offseason, including a list of key upcoming dates, an updated free agent scorecard, a glance at their draft situation, and the latest reports and rumors.

Key upcoming dates

  • March 12: The franchise/transition tag deadline. The Raiders do not have any real tag candidates.
  • March 16: The legal tampering period begins. Teams are free to talk to unrestricted free agents.
  • March 18: The new league year officially begins at 4 p.m. ET. Teams can now officially sign free agents.
  • March 29-April 1: The annual league meeting in Palm Beach, Florida.
  • Mid-April: The release of the 2020 regular season schedule. But we already know which teams the Raiders will face in 2020. In addition to their normal divisional slate of games, they’ll face the Falcons, Panthers, Browns, Patriots, and Jets on the road, and the Bills, Dolphins, Saints, Buccaneers, and Colts at their new stadium in Las Vegas. 
  • April 23-April 25: The NFL Draft, which will be held in Las Vegas.
  • May 8-11: Rookie minicamp, either from Friday-Sunday or Saturday-Monday.
  • May-July: OTAs, mandatory minicamp, and training camp. Exact dates TBD.

Free Agent Scorecard 

All contract info via Spotrac

Unrestricted free agents

A few notable defensive players are primed to hit free agency. Worley started 15 games last season, notching eight pass breakups and one interception. Joseph, a former first-round pick predating the Gruden era, played in nine games and recorded 38 solo tackles, three passes defended, and an interception. The oft-suspended Burfict has been reinstated, but the Raiders would be wise to distance themselves from him. The same can probably be said for both Worley and Joseph, but for different reasons. The Raiders should aim to replace both players with upgrades one year after their defense ranked 31st in DVOA.

Offensively, there’s not much to be worried about in terms of free agents. Glennon is a backup-caliber quarterback. Washington isn’t a priority, especially after the team drafted Josh Jacobs in the first and recently extended Jalen Richard. And Harris is more of a returner than a receiver.

The Raiders won’t be losing much in free agency.

Restricted free agents

Out of all those names, Morrow is the most interesting piece. In his third season after going undrafted, Morrow racked up a career-high 73 combined tackles. At kicker, the Raiders might want to find a better option than Carlson, who made only 73.1 percent of his field goals in 2019, which ranked in the bottom half of the league. At the very least, competition is needed.

Releases

Signings from around the league

  • Signed LB Lamarr Houston to a one-day contract to retire with the organization
  • Signed LB Quentin Poling

In-house signings

Incognito, serious off-the-field concerns aside, gives the Raiders a measure of stability up front while Richard is a nice compliment to Jacobs, especially as a pass-catching option coming out of the backfield. Meanwhile, Good provides the Raiders depth in the trenches. Likewise, Lawson gives the secondary some depth, especially considering the Raiders could be losing some starters in free agency. 

2020 draft picks

  • Round 1: Las Vegas, Chicago
  • Round 2: None
  • Round 3: Las Vegas, Houston
  • Round 4: Las Vegas
  • Round 5: Las Vegas*
  • Round 6: None
  • Round 7: Las Vegas

*A conditional pick involved in the Khalil Mack trade with the Bears. It’s not yet known if the conditions were met. 

Check out a more detailed look at their needs in the draft by clicking here.

Rumors, reports, and updates

March 2: Raiders interested in Chris Harris

As previously mentioned, the Raiders’ secondary is in flux, but instead of looking to re-sign players, they should be looking for upgrades. Harris would be exactly that. The superstar slot corner is expected to depart from Denver this offseason. 

The Raiders are rightly interested.

But as the tweet above alluded to, they’ll have competition for his services.

March 1: Raiders aren’t all-in on Tom Brady

One of the many quarterbacks expected to hit free agency? Tom Brady. However, it doesn’t sound like the Raiders are gunning for him. According to NBC Sports Boston’s Tom E. Curran, Gruden “isn’t going to cold-shoulder Brady if the quarterback’s people reach out but the team isn’t planning to give great chase.” That makes sense. It’s likely the Raiders’ window doesn’t mesh with Brady’s. The Raiders are still rebuilding. And Brady is in win-now mode.

February 29: Raiders expected to pursue Byron Jones

If the Cowboys let Jones walk in free agency, the Raiders should be very involved in what will likely become a bidding war for a 27-year-old defensive back who has developed into a darn good player. By the sound of it, the Raiders want him, according to a report from Las Vegas Review-Journal. But the Raiders won’t be alone in pursuing him.

February 25: Raiders won’t turn down a “chance to upgrade” at QB

Even if the Raiders aren’t in pursuit of Brady, that doesn’t mean they’re not looking for an upgrade at quarterback.

“Derek played at a high level last season,” general manager Mike Mayock told reporters at the combine, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. “I’m very happy with Derek. But as I’ve said before, we will evaluate every position on our roster, and if there’s a chance to upgrade, we will look into that.”





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